RRDC Evening with Jim Hall—Introduction by Sam Posey / Interview with Bobby Rahal. A personal hero. Chaparral cars were an inspiration to many designers, including myself.

Jim Hall in the Chaparral 2G at Stardust International Raceway, 1968


I traveled to Stardust International Raceway outside of Las Vegas in November, 1968 for the CanAm race. Armed with my Uncle’s hand-me-down Super 8mm movie camera, I’d wander the circuit looking for the best locations for shooting I could access as a spectator. (See a post of an edited version of all of the movies I shot over the years). I ran out of film later in the race, and had to be content with following the Chaparral around the course with binoculars. Other cars would disappear behind obstacles, but I could keep track of the Chaparral because of the high wing. I was shocked and sickened when I witnessed the Chaparral launch itself over the top of Lothar Motschenbacher’s red McLaren.


Petroleum Museum Gallery

In 2005 I had the opportunity to visit the Chaparral Exhibit at the Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas. It’s well worth a visit, hollowed ground for Chaparral enthusiasts.

Photos by Gary D. Smith

Check out ChaparralCars.com.

  1. Thanks so much, Gary. I had never met Jim Hall and this interview is so engaging, that I’ve watched it twice. Your high resolution photos at the Petroleum Museum also give a closeup, tech-view of the Chaparrals that I’ve never seen before. All very much appreciated!

  2. Tony Miller

    This was really excellent. I’ve been aware of Jim’s activities for 50 years, but almost everything in this article was news to me.

    Thanks, and I’m sorry I didn’t post this sooner.

  3. Allen Ornes

    I was fortunate to meet him and his ‘crew’ at Mid Ohio – I think it was ’66 – but that could be off. The race cars were the early composite versions with the lower portion still in the as molded brown and, the upper in his signature white with the Corvair GT shapes to the front and wire look cast wheels. A friend, Jim Barron, knew him from their Midland/Odessa Texas times and we were welcomed into the pit area to have a look and chat. Think Hap Sharp was there as well.
    Thanks for bringing all this back for me.

  4. Allen Ornes

    Ok, I know it was not ’66 as I was in Germany with Ford, must have been ’64 or ’65. Sorry but things run together a bit now and then.
    In any case, he is and has always been a top racer/engineer. With a bit of support from GM.

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